Retro-chic feels appropriate at home in the antechamber of the June Cabin in Prince Edward County, Ont. The June Cabin / Bloomberg
Hotel architecture is generally a action of addition, whether it’s that absolute bandy pillow, location-specific coffee-table books, or a burst of arrangement on an emphasis wall.
But not aback you’re gutting a bare 1930s motel.
“Most of our architecture action was about subtraction,” said Liz Lambert, architect of the Austin-based Bunkhouse Group, which in March apparent its check of the age-old Austin Motel. “(We had to) bark abroad layers of garden gnomes and tchotchkes that accumulated over time.” Now the abaft inn is a cool-kid magnet-just like its sister hotel, the celebrity-packed Saint Cecilia.
Around the U.S., hoteliers are axis down-at-the-heels motels-a civic figure of sorts-into stylish, appreciably flush hotels. The trend started a decade ago, according to Mike Cahill, architect and arch controlling administrator of accommodation absolute acreage close HREC Investment Advisors. In the accomplished brace of years it has been spurred by affordable acreage prices and a alteration analogue of affluence that emphasizes appearance and adventures over cilia counts and aboveboard footage.
Motel apartment with a appearance on Long Island’s Arctic Fork. Sound Appearance Greenport / Bloomberg
That doesn’t accomplish the business of motels a abrupt no-brainer. Such baby backdrop generally accomplish on bound margins. They don’t account from economies of scale, in aggregate from business to accounting to linens, as chains and ample hotels do. (Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson has said these sorts of amount accumulation collection the Starwood alliance aftermost year.) In booming areas, it can be added cost-effective to breach bottomward motels and body article beyond from scratch.
Cheap absolute acreage can additionally construe to costly, time-consuming, and arguable renovations-the barrio are generally apparent as allotment of a community’s bounded legacy.
Renovation “takes a lot of empathy. It is abundant easier to advance a auberge in Manhattan,” said Erik Warner, co-founder of Eagle Point Auberge Partners, which this year adapted motels in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and Greenport, New York. Too, “you never apperceive what you are activity to acquisition abaft the walls. It’s accessible to appear in and decorate, but abundant harder aback you ascertain the pipes are bad.”
So why bother? For Lambert and others, the challenges are account the accolade of creating a noteworthy hotel, accidental to the activation of an breadth and, they hope, profiting as a result. “It’s like the ultimate in recycling,” Cahill said.
They’re a benefaction for travellers, too, at amount credibility that generally dwarf the branded big boxes nearby. Here are the standouts to book on your abutting trip.
For years, freeholder Lambert had a drove on the 30s-era Austin Motel, an figure of the city’s restaurant-packed South Congress Avenue, and its neon sign. Afterwards her year-long makeover, the 41-room acreage marries minimalism with bursts of colour and kitsch: lip-shaped telephones, colourful Voutsa wallpaper patterns, and synchronized pond performances for poolside entertainment.
“I anticipate we preserved the spirit of the place,” Lambert said. “And of course, we kept the sign. I mean, that assurance may be the No. 1 acumen I capital the auberge all these years.” From US$125.
It wasn’t the anachronous adornment of the Casa Malibu Inn that prompted Oracle architect Larry Ellison to pay US$20 actor for it: The cabin was congenital appropriate on coveted Carbon Bank – additionally alleged “Billionaire’s Beach,” acknowledgment to the absurd homes abutting it. Afterwards a absolute reinvention, the auberge reopened in June as allotment of Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s fast-growing brand, with aloof 16 alone advised rooms.
The appearance is aesthetic and organic, with teak paneling, accurate fireplaces, handmade teak assimilation tubs and linen-hued upholstery. There is a aggregate accouter of ipe, or Brazilian walnut, copse and an bank lap basin (currently closed); the autogenous garden is in acceptable Japanese style. To atone for the abridgement of an on-site restaurant, guests can adjustment allowance account from Nobu’s high-end sushi atom two doors down. From US$1,500.
The basic still say motel, but annihilation abroad does at New Orleans’ new Drifter hotel.
“We had this dream to transform (the Drifter) into a destination,” said co-owner Jayson Seidman, whose once-shabby 1956 cabin is set in an absurd area-an up-and-coming, automated amplitude of Mid-City already accepted as a axis of drugs and prostitution. Seidman and his co-owners angry the parking lot into a close garden, removed the clay that acclimated to ample the pond pool, and added a lounge and coffee bar. The casual-cool aftereffect was launched this summer, with yoga classes in the morning and a buzzy cocktail hour scene. The apartment are simple, with blah walls and upholstery and honey-toned copse headboards. “We’re arena the high-low game-we are a 1950s motel, but we accept Aesop toiletries and absolutely nice linens,” Seidman said. From US$175.
The pocket-size Brentwood isn’t in the adherent allotment of this upstate resort boondocks best accepted for hosting the anniversary Travers Stakes horse race. (It’s abreast the added crawling Saratoga Springs, arctic of Albany.) Instead, it’s amid the stables abaft the aback amplitude of the Saratoga Chase Course-and that’s allotment of the appeal.
“In the mornings you can sit there with a coffee and see all the horses airing bottomward the street,” said Jou-Yie Chou, accomplice at Brooklyn-based Studio Tack, who adapted the briefing motor abode into an affected retreat with reclaimed white-oak flooring, high-shine atramentous wainscoting, best oil paintings, and an affectionate Carrara marble-topped antechamber bar. “We capital it to be handsome,” Chou said, “not kitsch or cute.” From US$139.
The Anvil Auberge in Jackson, Wyoming, is the absolute abode to balmy up afterwards skiing. Anvil Auberge / Bloomberg
It was declared to be a lipstick renovation. But afterwards new owners took over the Shell Motel, a half-block off the bank in Fort Lauderdale, they absitively otherwise.
“We gutted it,” said Pawel Plata, co-founder and administrator of the Gzella Collection, which which now includes three adapted motels forth a beginning aisle of the South Florida coast.
With artist Blanche Garcia of the Travel Channel’s “Hotel Impossible” fame, they replaced the Elita’s wan chicken exoteric with a clear black-and-white facade. Out went amber tiled showers and delicate parrot prints; in came brave bottle bath doors and serene blah walls. But the highlight of the hotel, which opened in mid-2016, is the amid avant-garde garden and pool. “It’s aloof our oasis,” Plata said. From US$134.
At the Anvil, alike the bed frames accomplish a statement. “They are a absorption not aloof of the actuality that wrought-iron beds were a affluence in Jackson a hundred years ago,” freeholder Erik Warner said; they additionally pay admiration to the ruggedness of this ski resort-cum-cowboy town, south of Grand Teton Civic Park. Other statements: a cooler affairs by New York cocktail accouterments Death & Co., a trattoria led by Pok Pok alum Troy Furuta, and a best babysitter affairs that focuses on the bounded community.
“We’re spending a lot of time and assets to acquisition that man or woman who can, say, booty you into the Tetons beneath the pines … the float aggregation that takes you to a clandestine agronomical to sit about a table with locals,” said Warner. From US$195.
Once you’ve been to Prince Edward County, it’s adamantine not to go back: It has dozens of accomplished wineries, Caribbean-like beaches, and bags of absorbing boutiques and restaurants, all aural an accessible drive of Toronto or Montreal. But it has little in the way of abundant hotels. So aback a brace of Toronto accompany came aloft the “dingy” but structurally midcentury Sportsman Motel, they saw abundant potential.
“Despite the acceptance of the area, anybody seemed to attempt to acquisition a abode to stay,” co-owner April Amber said. Now the 16-room acreage is an eclectic, boho-chic atom with blush doors, Solair chairs, and a Rosé Suite bashed in floral wallpaper, amid amid the abstruse (but beautiful) Lake on the Mountain and the blink-and-you-miss-it boondocks of Picton. From $150.
At this new gem on the Arctic Fork, the bank is the star: All 55 apartment accessible assimilate a private, quarter-mile-long bank at the far eastern end of Long Island. Congenital in 1953 and adapted by Eagle Point this year, the cabin has apartment featuring shiplap cedar walls, braiding rugs and colourblocked quilts.
James Beard-winning chef Galen Zamarra oversees its seafood-focused restaurant. Try the clams, absurd in a buttermilk-saltines batter, and the lobster beignets. From US$205.
– With abetment by Emily Cadman
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